Loophole may help killer get kids’ cash

It’s the hallmark of New York’s Son of Sam law and others like it across the nation — convicted criminals should not be able to profit from their crimes.
Associated Press
Oct 14, 2013


But legal experts say the case of a Long Island mother who drowned her three children in a bathtub and is now seeking to cash in could succeed because of a loophole. Since Leatrice Brewer was never convicted — instead found not guilty by reason of mental disease — legal experts say she could make a plausible case to receive some of her children’s $350,000 estate.

“The Brewer case is a novel circumstance,” said George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. “The facts do seem to place her outside the scope of the law, although that does not mean there could not be other barriers to her recovering from the estate of her children.”

Brewer, 33, slashed her daughter’s throat before drowning her and two younger brothers in 2008, believing she was saving them from the deadly effects of voodoo. Hours after the killings, she survived two suicide attempts — swallowing a concoction of home cleaning fluids and later jumping out a second-story window.

She was found not guilty because of mental disease or defect in the deaths of the children, ages 1, 5 and 6, and was committed to a state psychiatric hospital.

A hearing before Nassau County Surrogate Court Judge Edward McCarty next month will determine if Brewer is entitled to a share of the proceeds from two lawsuits the children’s fathers settled with the county; they claimed social workers failed to properly monitor the woman and children.

Caseworkers visited Brewer’s apartment two days before the killings and found no one home but neglected to schedule an immediate follow-up visit. Two social workers were later suspended.



Does anyone besides me find this incredibly wrong? How does a mother murder her kids, then collect their life insurance proceeds for doing it? I just don't understand.


Welcome to america. Where morals are for sale and the laws are arbitrary.



From the Grave

That shows your erroneous belief that money should only go to people who you think good and do good things. Money is just a tool and makes no moral judgment.


I can imagine if this works that a few of our own wonderful parents that are currently residing in lock up and trying for a mental illness loop hole will try it themselves!! This is just sick!!!


I have no problem with killers and the like profiting from their crimes at ALL. As long as, that is, ever nickel of the proceeds goes toward victim (and their families') compensation!

In this case, the mother was obviously the beneficiary of the children's life insurance polices. Okay. So she gets the $350,000 which immediately goes to the next in line. If there IS no next in line (no living father, for example), then it should go toward an organization that fights child abuse or the like.

The main thing here is that at least some little good can come out of such great evil.

mimi's word

The fathers aren't getting the money just yet because they are trying to determine if they were involved in the kids lives or not or just trying to profit from their deaths as well. Also she may recieve the money HOWEVER she has racked up a large bill with the state of NewYork in hospital fees so that is where the money would go to first. The state might hold lien as well if she received any public assistance before the murders as well. As far as I am concerned fine she was mentallly ill. She should still never be let out to breed anymore victims.